Trentino-Alto Adige is famous for nature, summer and winter sports, trekking, excursions, culture, and excellent cuisine. There are wonderful places such as the Dolomites, the glaciers of the Adamello-Brenta Park, Lake Braies, and the Adige river, without forgetting that the territory is divided into large valleys such as for example Val di Fassa, Val di Fiemme, Val Gardena, and Val Badia with views ranging from coniferous forests to majestic peaks.
Trentino Alto Adige is a fantastic region especially from a landscape and rural point of view and is, therefore, the ideal destination for a holiday dedicated to sport, culture, food, and wine. Furthermore, in Trentino Alto Adige there are many facilities equipped with a spa and relaxation area.
Here are the most important places to visit in Trentino Alto Adige (South Tyrol)
A visit to the capital of Trentino is a must on the list of what to see in Trentino Alto Adige. Trento is a small and pretty city, rich in history, art, and culture. Among the alleys of its historic center, you will admire a mix of medieval walls and frescoed buildings, but also Renaissance buildings that alternate bright colors. To see there is the beautiful Piazza Duomo, the square with the imposing Fountain of Neptune surrounded by the majestic Cathedral of San Vigilio, but also the Buonconsiglio Castle which was the seat of the Prince Bishops, the Sass (an underground museum that preserves the remains of the Roman Trento), the MUSE (museum of natural sciences) and the MART (museum of modern and contemporary art which consists of two museums, in Trento and Rovereto).
Located in the historic center of Trento, the Buonconsiglio Castle contains the whole history of Trento starting from the thirteenth century. Each part of the castle has a particular architectural style, from the Venetian-Gothic style to the Renaissance style, to conclude with the Baroque style of the more recent structure. Important historical events took place in this castle, including the approval of the counter-reformation of the Catholic world. Lovers of contemporary art will not be able to miss the MART. In fact, it is one of the most famous and recognized museums of modern and contemporary art in Italy; inside there are about 20,000 works of 150 years of history. Here there are many works by Trentino artists such as Depero, but also by other internationally renowned artists such as Hayez, Boccioni and de Chirico. If it’s Christmas time, you can’t miss a stroll around the stalls of the famous Trento Christmas market.
One hour away from Trento is the capital of South Tyrol, Bolzano. It is a city of modest size but picturesque and lively, considered the border between the Italian and German world where bilingualism reigns. Also in Bolzano you will find characteristic alleys surrounded by medieval buildings but this time with influences from the Austro-Hungarian period, among which you can discover interesting museums and castles such as the unmissable archaeological museum and Roncolo castle, but also the characteristic via Goethe and Piazza delle Erbe, a colorful square in the heart of the city center. Do not miss the main square, Piazza Walther, where the beautiful Cathedral and the Romanesque Basilica are located. Finally, during the Christmas holidays, you will also find here the colorful Christmas Markets. Also enjoy a ride in the Colle cable car, located in the historic center of Bolzano: it is the oldest cable car in the world, inaugurated in 1908. Not far from Bolzano there is the Firmiano castle, one of the castles that best represent the defensive architecture of Trentino Alto Adige.
The historic center of Merano is full of buildings with a great architectural influence of the Austro-Hungarian period, characteristic and very colorful. To visit there are the Church of San Giorgio and that of San Nicolò, but also the nearby Trauttmansdorff Castle and its gardens, among the most beautiful in Italy. A wonderful view can also be found at the 28 meter high Powder Tower. From its nature to its thermal baths, Merano is a jewel of the Trentino Alto Adige region. The Merano Thermal Baths are famous all over the world. Finally, also in Merano in winter there are the characteristic Christmas markets.
Rovereto is the third-largest city in the region in terms of importance and size, as well as a historical and cultural site. Founded in the Middle Ages, today narrow streets and squares remain from that era, but it is also possible to admire beautiful eighteenth-century buildings that give it a Venetian atmosphere. Among the attractions, we mention the Church of San Marco, the Depero house and the imposing castle, but also the Civic Museum and the MART. The Bell Of The Fallen remembers all the fallen in war. The footprints of dinosaurs are also famous, artifacts dating back more than 200 million years ago in the Jurassic era. Enjoy a ride along the Vallagarina cycle path, one of the most beautiful in Europe, and if you have time left, take a trip to the astronomical observatory.
This small town in the province of Bolzano is truly wonderful. It has a strong German imprint, as it is very close to the border with Austria and is definitely worth a visit. Piazza Duomo is characterized by the two twin towers. Then there is the Bishop’s Palace dating back to the 13th century and the Diocesan Museum, where inside it is possible to see various medieval works and collections.
On the border with Austria we find Vipiteno, a medieval town that is part of the “most beautiful towns in Italy” association. It is a small city of about 6000 inhabitants with certainly unique views. To visit the Twelve tower, the Gothic-style town hall and the neo-Gothic church “Madonna della Palude”, built on the remains of a Romanesque church. A few kilometers from Vipiteno there is the largest toboggan run in Italy, 10 km long, as well as numerous ski facilities.
Riva del Garda is certainly one of the most beautiful towns to see in Trentino. Among the things to see is the Bastion, the symbol of the city, reachable on foot from the center in less than 30 minutes, recommended especially in spring or summer. Obviously, a relaxing walk near the lake cannot be missed, in fact, Riva del Garda being on a human scale is easily accessible on foot. Here you can also find excellent places to swim in Lake Garda. If your time permits, also enjoy the Varone waterfalls, just a few minutes drive from Riva del Garda. Another excellent visit and unique point of interest is the Tempesta Busatte path, a splendid walk with unique views of the lake.
Lake Tovel, in the province of Trento, is one of the most beautiful lakes in Trentino Alto Adige and is part of the list of what to see in Trentino. One of the characteristics of this lake is the waters, incredibly clear and of wonderful color, so much so that they create a mirror effect with the mountains that surround this place. Do not miss a walk in Val di Tovel, a valley that offers unique sceneries immersed in wild nature.
Lake Molveno is a jewel set among the Dolomites, a unique spectacle of nature. It is located in a mountain range in the Brenta group, about 30 minutes by car from Trento. The area is perfectly equipped for families, who will find beaches, gardens and play areas for children, along with an aqua park. There are several activities to practice, such as a canoe ride, a game of tennis or five-a-side football or a swim in the pool.
Renowned throughout Europe, Lake Braies, with its breathtaking landscape nestled in the mountains, has become one of the most popular lakes in northern Italy. Characterized by its splendid green water and the background of the Croda del Bracco mountain, almost 3000 meters high. This place is the ideal destination for lovers of trekking, mountain biking and mountain excursions, certainly one of the places to visit in Trentino Alto Adige. A trip on the lake by canoe is very popular, or you can turn on the path which requires about a couple of hours of walking to complete it.
Lake Tenno is located just above Riva del Garda, at an altitude of 570 m. The lake is an emerald nestled among the mountains and the landscape around it is totally unspoiled. The dense vegetation envelops the lake creating a unique atmosphere. This lake has a peculiarity: it has a big difference in level between the summer and autumn periods. In fact, during the autumn period, the numerous rains raise the water level by 15 meters. On the contrary, during the summer, with the lowering of the water level, it is possible to see an island emerge in the lake and access it on foot.
Val di Funes
Val di Funes is a large valley in South Tyrol that extends between Bressanone and Santa Maddalena and takes its name from the main town in its territory. Like almost all the valleys of Trentino-Alto Adige, Val di Funes also offers the possibility of both summer and winter holidays thanks to the many activities that can be practiced, as well as boasting one of the best landscapes in the region. It is in fact located in the heart of the Dolomites where, among green meadows and woods, it is always possible to admire the imposing rocky massifs nearby. Val di Funes becomes one of the major ski areas in winter, while in summer you can go trekking on the various paths, horse riding and full days in the Funes Adventure Park.
Val di Non
Val di Non is one of the main valleys of Trentino, known above all for its vast production of excellent apples. The territory offers beautiful panoramas and breathtaking natural landscapes. Among the various attractions, there is the Rio Sass Canyon, a deep ravine carved by the river, which can be traveled on walkways admiring the play of light, stalactites and stalagmites. But you can also spend days at the beautiful lake of Santa Giustina or Tovel Lake, or take part in a gastronomic tour to discover apple crops with interesting walks among the apple orchards. The castles of Val di Non are famous throughout Europe.
Val Gardena is another valley located in the Dolomites, very interesting from a geographical and cultural point of view. First of all it takes its name from the river that crosses it and extends among only 3 little towns (Ortisei, Santa Cristina di Val Gardena and Selva di Val Gardena). The whole area is dominated by trilingualism: Italian, German and Ladin. Ladin is the dialect of the Ladin valleys, a Dolomite region. An other interesting place to visit is the Puez-Odle Natural Park, as well as the beautiful winter ski slopes. The park is 2500 meters high and offers a beautiful view over the valley. Inside there are various alpine plants, specimens of chamois, roe deer, deer, fallow deer and eagle owls.
Pale di San Martino
Located in the Panaveggio Natural Park, on the border with Veneto, the Pale di San Martino is the largest mountain group in the Dolomites, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2009. The Pale are located between 2500 and 2800 meters above sea level and are one of the most suggestive and particular places to see in Trentino, easily reachable even with children.
Three Peaks of Lavaredo
The Three Peaks of Lavaredo are located in the Dolomites at about 3000 meters above sea level on the border with Austria and are part of the Natural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. This place is undoubtedly the ideal destination for lovers of trekking and mountain biking. In fact, around the Three Peaks, there are several paths that can be followed.
Madonna di Campiglio
Madonna di Campiglio is certainly one of the most iconic places in Trentino. The town has just 800 inhabitants and is located at 1500 meters above sea level between the Brenta Dolomites and the Adamello glaciers. Famous for winter sports, it has 156 km of slopes of different difficulty levels. Even during the summer, this place is very charming. Campiglio also has a track where Special Slalom races of the Alpine Ski World Cup are held.
Trentino is also renowned for its natural and relaxing spas. An unmissable thermal site is located in Levico Terme, located in a wonderful natural setting among the peaks of the Lagorai mountain range. Furthermore, in Levico there is a small jewel set among nature: a bathing lake that extends between the lower part of the town and the surrounding woods. Even the historic center of Levico Terme is very characteristic and waiting to be discovered.
Located 3 km from Lake Tenno, the Varone waterfalls are certainly one of the places to visit in Trentino. Here the water, over the course of 20,000 years, has carved out a real natural museum in the rock, with a 90-meter leap. The intense and continuous bubbling of the water on the limestone rocks, the air currents and the vaporized water will leave you with an unforgettable sensation. Outside the falls, there is also a park where you can have picnics and enjoy some varieties of non-native crops, which manage to coexist thanks to the particular microclimate of the place.